Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Difficult Situation


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

We have a child who will probably need to have a dual placement at a school more set up for his complex needs and also attend the local school for a day - this is all speculation between myself and the parents, we are all awaiting a family services meeting to discuss the options and make an informed decision with funding etc....it has been a sensitive and difficult process to talk through this with the parents and I have built up a good relationship with parents, however today I walked into the room to find a member of staff talking to the mother about going to look at a local school that could help with her son, and this discussion went on whereby the practitioner gave her thoughts and opinion and advice.

When the parent had left I approached the practitioner and said that in future she should not discuss this (their school starting options) with the parents as it is a sensitive issue that needs some care and more professional advice than we are qualified to give, the member of staff was really upset with me, and this blow up saying that she should be able to talk to parents about this...I stood by what I had said and said he was my key child and also that his needs are complex and we have no way of knowing how this affects the parents, they may be upset that the staff are adding their opinion to the situation.

Well it ended with a feeling for me as a manager, that whenever I point out things I am not happy with someone takes offence and cries!

I hate it, I have to be able to stand up and say what I believe to be the best practice for our setting and consider each childs situation....it seems when I try to be assertive it bites me in the bum!

I hate the feeling of on the one hand being proud of standing up and saying how I need things to be done (which I find hard generally) and the other feeling of confrontational, crying, unsupportive staff.....

 

did I do the right thing.......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who raised the subject?

 

If it was the parents they may have just been feeling the needs to sound out the opinions of others who know their child. If I had such important decisions being made about my child - and I do - I'd like to feel that I could talk it through with anyone involved in her care.

 

However if the practitioner raised it that's a different matter and I'd probably also be suggesting that some things are better discussed by someone who has all the facts to hand and has been working hard to manage the relationship with the parents. Did she know all the ins and out or that there were ongoing discussions about his provision?

 

However you managed this you'd probably feel upset because it's a really unpleasant part of the job. Try to cut yourself some slack. You are working with the best interests of the child and the family at heart and that's what's most important.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I couldn't read and run shirel. I think you probably were doing the right thing although it is difficult for me to put myself in your shoes entirely as we are such a small setting that if I were in your position all the staff would be fully informed in case mum needed to unload on one of them in my absence, but that's just how things tend to work at my place. If this is your key child and you have been dealing with the situation then unless the other member of staff had personal experience to add then I don't think she should have said something. And tbh even if she did have some personal experience which was relevant then she ought to have asked permission to share this first. Managing is great isn't it? :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi shirel i so sympathise with you. It can be really tough to be at the helm some days, but it is important that the staff team are aware that discussions and decisions of this kind can be very emotive and confusing for the parents involved and requires care and consideration.

Of course all practitioners need to feel valued but i do feel on this occasion given the account of the situation you were right to say what you did.

Thats not to say that if she had a view, she could not come to you to discuss it, if she felt it may help the family concerned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you...and yes the staff member initiated the discussion. .....I think if I am honest it is not the first time this has happened and she is unaware of the meetings that have taken place in order to keep this whole relationship safe...\I think she was probably thinking she was helping...but so unprofessional...in my opinion.

 

Thank you for all your replies....I do find it a constant battle to manage a team....they are such lovely ladies but sometimes things happen that shouldnt and I have to do my job....there are so many times when I dont actually say what I think and I am trying to be more assertive rather than come home and moan....I just feel that it will rock the boat too much if I keep picking them up on stuff...but I do it so sensitively and I think sometimes that has been the problem...I may be taken advantage of a lot of the time...

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shirel, I feel you handled it well... you have the most in-depth knowledge of the family, the child and their needs, the staff member was probably acting with the best of intentions but may have inadvertantly muddied the water or raised doubts and conflicts in the parents' minds and you were right to point this out.

 

Do you feel strong enough to raise this isuue with your team as a whole tomorrow morning, pointing out that they don't have full knowledge and may do more harm than good in their efforts to be helpful? It may just save you this grief again in the future.

 

Have a relaxing evening and start afresh tomorrow!

 

Nona

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is soo difficult to be in the position you've found yourself in since taking on this job, and clearly you're still all finding your fee together as a team.

 

For whatever reason, this practitioner involved herself in a situation she wasn't sufficiently knowledgeable about and may as a result have done more harm than good. You discussed it with her and gave good and valid reasons why she shouldn't do something like this again which is part of your job function and your responsibility. It sounds to me that you did it calmly and professionally, didn't personalise it and was clear about what your expectations are in a situation like this.

 

Perhaps she genuinely thought she was helping and was devastated to find that she had got it so wrong. However, we all have to be accountable for our actions and it is part of your role to hold her to account and show her how she can improve. Crying and sulking might be what I'd do in the privacy of my car or in the bath at night when I've made a royal muck-up but at the time I hope I'd remain professional enough to hold up my hands and admit I made a mistake, or at least explain my rationale for doing what I did.

 

I think where you go from here is crucial - you are still at the stage of asserting your authority (and it sounds as if you're very much at the 'storming' stage of team building!). Perhaps you could talk as a team about how a practitioner should deal with an issue like this with a parent, much as you might discuss strategies about how to deal with children's behaviour. I also wonder if there's an issue here about information sharing - other team members might not need to know the details of every child's situation, but perhaps they need to know enough to judge when to respond to a parent by offering advice or an opinion, and when to refer upwards. I mention this because it is something I'm particularly bad at!

 

I'm sure it will all come together shirel - you're a fantastic practitioner and you're constantly reflecting on your own abilities and techniques as a leader. Keep on keeping on!

 

Maz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good advice taken on board - thanks as always Maz... :o

 

I think this practitioner takes things so personally which I have done before and so I can relate to it...also she has just started the FD and I think she is finding it empowering and given her more of a voice than usual - which is great when appropriate and I do not want to quash her enthusiasm - but a little difficult for me at time ...thanks again for your wise words.... xD:( :( :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Shirel

 

Sounds like what you did was exactly right.

 

It's not easy being in management, is it? I always seem to be upsetting people unintentionally, in a way that simply would not happen if we were working in an office. What I mean is, as a manager, you have the right to set staff straight if they are acting unprofessionally. If I did that in an office, I wouldn't expect the kind of overly emotional responses I get sometimes from staff at preschool.

 

Maybe it's because of the kind of work our staff do (i.e. dealing with small children) that they can tend to take constructive comments in an overly emotional way. I also think it might have something to do with being an overwhelmingly feminine environment xD

 

Don't feel bad about it, someone has to take charge, and you don't have to be popular. In fact someone told me the other day 'they are all just a little bit scared of you and that's a good thing'. :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe it's because of the kind of work our staff do (i.e. dealing with small children) that they can tend to take constructive comments in an overly emotional way. I also think it might have something to do with being an overwhelmingly feminine environment :o

I think you've hit the nail on the head here, SuzieC8! The work we do is so personal and we are so emotionally connected with our children and their families that we can sometimes find it hard to separate the professional and the personal aspects of the job.

 

Hopefully with a little time to reflect this practitioner will come to terms, learn and move on!

 

Maz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Shirel

 

Couldn't read and run. Being a manager can be hard at times. You clearly have been working hard to develop a professional relationship with this parent. As others have suggested, it may be that the member of staff was well intentioned however seems to have not acted appropriately. Is it possible to have a quiet chat about what happened with her, perhaps acknowledge that she may have been well intentioned but explain your position again to her, she may well have been too upset to listen the first time round.

 

You're doing a grand job, keep at it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)